In the night from October 31st to November 1st, it's that time again: Halloween! Disguised children and, according to the trend, lots of zombies are up to mischief on the streets at night. Give them a trick or a treat - the choice is yours. Those who are not satisfied with the spirits can look forward to a restless night this year as well. All fearful rabbits who don't dare to go outside on Halloween can, however, spend the evening playing board games. And what goes better with a delicious Bloody Mary than an equally bloody board game? In this year's Halloween Special I am going to introduce you to my favorite horror board games. Trick or Treat!

Ecsape - Zombie City

It starts out shallow, but hectic. Since the release of the exciting board game from Queen Games, Escape has been regularly creating entertaining excitement and hectic pace in the home game room. When the background music gives the signal that it is time to rush to the exit quickly and purposefully, the players' blood begins to boil. And what works well in a temple works even better in a zombie-infested city. In the escape branch Escape - Zombie City you don't collect treasure, but supplies and try to get your car ready to run in order to escape from the city before the bloodthirsty zombies can get to your leather. This real-time game creates a lot of excitement and is especially fun in game groups with 4 players, because that's when the hectic pace is greatest. Alternatively, Escape also works with two or three people. The modular game plan of the real-time board game is nicely designed and rich in detail.

It looks good on the table and I like it even better than the previous Escape board game. The course of the game remains true to its roots: Only the clever distribution of the dice brings you closer to a successful escape. And as in Escape, it also works with Escape - Zombie City purely cooperative too. All players roll the dice for themselves, but must always have an overview of the other players' situations in order to achieve the ideal approach. And 'when the music is playing ...' not only pop and folk music fans will suddenly perk up, but also board players plagued by zombies, because then it's back to: run before the monsters bite you!

There are no breaks in the short, 15-minute rounds of play. So you don’t spend time waiting, you’re really busy for 15 minutes. That's great, and makes Escape - Zombie City one of the favorites for Halloween. Have fun!

HP Lovecraft's Kingsport Festival

My next board game title for creepy Halloween nights is HP Lovecraft's Kingsport Festival. Lovecraft was one of the world's most influential authors in the field of fantasy and horror and enjoys absolute cult status among fans of the genre. His ideas are not only fascinating, but timeless and still inspire horror fans from all over the world today. So it's no wonder that his ideas are regularly used as background stories in the board game sector too. In the board game “Kingsport Festival” everything revolves around the eponymous town of Kingsport, in which things are apparently not right for me. 3 to 5 cultists seek power over the city's residents. The authors Andrea Chiarvesio and Gianluca Santopietro understand perfectly how to ascribe the roles of real villains to the players. This idea is what makes the game so appealing. Finally, not being on the bright side, but being allowed to be really nasty while playing board games - and thus to win too!

HP Lovecraft's Kingsport Festival has been published by KOSMOS-Verlag and inspires villains from around 13 years of age. The board game comes to your home fully equipped: Almost 300 individual parts are included in the package and make the “Kingsport Festival” a board game with a little getting used to. But similar to Eldritch Horror, the training period is rewarded with exciting hours of play, which, with a length of around 90 minutes, ensure full-length Halloween fun. The players' most powerful tool is the dice, which they use to summon horror creatures and unnatural creatures to help them take control of Kingsport. And as is common with concepts in the Cthulhu universe, the Ancient Ones also play a central role. It is important to let them return to the world in order to proclaim the rule of chaos. The gifts “death”, “evil” and “destruction” are helpful.

Under no circumstances should the players get caught by the investigators and successfully repel their attack. The game extends over several rounds (called months in the game) and is similar to the well-known horror offshoots. Occupying buildings brings cult points and bonuses such as strength against investigators, a limit increase for spells or additional magic or cult points. The two game bars for magic and spirit are new. The former uses spells and building abilities. The latter is used to conjure up the stronger old man and at the same time softens the luck factor a little when throwing the dice. This works extremely well in practice and makes Kingsport Festival an entertaining strategy game with few moments of happiness, but many feelings of happiness. Ideal for Halloween and wonderfully mystical.  

Winter of the Dead

The board game Winter of the dead was released in 2015 and is still considered a novelty in the horror business. The game by the authors Isaac Vega and Jon Gilmour is distributed in Germany by the Heidelberger Spieleverlag and is aimed at 3 to 5 players, ages 13+.

Location of Winter of the Dead is a post-apocalyptic world where survival is at stake. This survival board game is full of... zombies! With which we would have already built the bridge to Halloween. So far so simple the plot. The texts that were written for the board game are definitely worth a second look, and that's a good thing, because the players spend a large part of the game time reading card texts or reading through their own secret cards. In particular, the contents of the fate cards are convincing and are qualitatively on the level of modern survival horror stories.

This circumstance is useful for the game atmosphere, because as carried away as in the Winter of the Dead you rarely become as a board player. Each player has his own personal task, which decides about life or death. The gameplay is divided into two phases: A player phase, in which the players carry out their actions, roll the dice and reveal the crisis cards, and the colony phase, which focuses on bare survival. Supplies must be distributed, zombies fended off and order maintained in the colony. "Winter of the Dead" always remains exciting, because among the secret goals of the players there can also be a treacherous game goal that can plunge the entire colony into ruin. This uncertainty brings additional flavor to the cooperative survival board game, because suspicious players can be banned and thus receive a new, so-called banishment target. Whether the voting decision of the player group is correct remains open.

As usual in a bona fide survival game, the player mortality rate is quite high. Food supplies are scarce, zombies are always hungry anyway and the wintry temperatures make life (or survival) difficult for the fate-plagued board players. For around 35 euros, survival fans can get a well-equipped board game that ensures paranoid Halloween evenings with its semi-cooperative gameplay. "Winter of the Dead" is a story-driven, exciting and innovative board game that is a little reminiscent of Robinson Crusoe, but forces players even more to cooperate - always with the knowledge that fellow players may not have the best of intentions. Excitement and long-term motivation guaranteed!

Mansions of madness

Anyone with the horror board game HP Lovecraft's Kingsport Festival can't do anything because he doesn't like playing the bad guy, who gets here with the board game Mansions of madness from the Eldritch horror series presents the alternative. One of the players takes on the role of the bad guy, all others slip into the roles of investigators. It is well known that heroes have a harder time and without nasty magic powers, the bad guys are not defeated so quickly.

This is reflected directly in the playing time, which demands a lot of patience and patience from the players at around 2 to 3 hours, but completely fills Halloween night with horror entertainment. The game principle is similar to the well-known representatives of the Eldritch horror series. The scene is a mysterious mansion: eerie, dark, populated with monsters. And it remains exciting until the merciless showdown. The aim is to solve the mystery of the mansion and successfully thwart the machinations of the nasty opponent. the Mansions of madness plays like a horror movie and replaces the next BluRay evening with a spooky board game. Eldritch horror fans must Mansions of madness definitely play, all other Halloween fans risk at least one spooky test game!


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